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Lake Surrender: Her journey ends where the lake begins Paperback – September 24, 2014
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From the Author
Some of the most wonderful things happen at camp.
I've had my happiest memories sitting on the rustic porch of a camp lodge. Somehow getting away from the daily routines to take walks, eat together in a boisterous dining hall with dozens of other kids, and singing around a campfire built deep memories in me. I've been a third cook in a Girl Scout camp (glorified pot washer) and a craft director and counselor in other camps. And even when my husband and I were first married, he ran a camp for his alma mater. So when I sent my protagonist, Ally to camp, I knew it would change her life.
About the Author
Carol has a degree in Recreation Therapy and has worked with autistic students in a classroom/ A freelance writer for fourteen years, she is now a reporter for a local newspaper. She speaks to women's groups such as MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and has taught at national writers' conferences.
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Every life endures storms, trials. Mastering them is basic survival. A double upheaval demands greater skill. Ally Cervantes found herself rather in a Perfect Storm of life’s turbulence: a son on the autism spectrum, a divorce, and a sudden halt to her career. And with the divorce came the loss of the house and her life as she knew it. What does one do when the options are dislike, dislike more, and no way on earth?
Ally moved her family – minus the husband – half-way across the country, to a lifestyle as vastly different from what she left behind as her Jimmy Choos from flip flops. As different as the perfumed fragrance of roses from the bitter sting of thorns. And that’s what she felt she had walked into, a bramble patch.
Faced with a devastated present, an uncertain future, and embarrassing memories from her past, Ally forges a new life for herself and her children.
Ms. Stratton has woven into her story, the uncomfortable issue of having a child on the Autism spectrum, a topic not often, in this reviewer’s experience, seen in fiction. Ms. Stratton has skillfully melded the issues of life – divorce, preteen daughter, moving – into a compelling story. I found myself crying with Ally, rooting for her, scolding her even, as she faced down each of her demons. I felt her frustration and heartbreak, and wanted to step into the story to lend a hand. I applauded Aunt Nettie for being the hero-in-the-background, loving quietly with the love of Christ, urging but never pushing. I felt no small measure of disgust for other family members who were less supportive. And I felt near contempt for Ally’s ex-husband.
And I thrilled with each step Ally took into a life of faith, each step away from disdain for all things Christian, each step toward freedom in Christ.
I was pulled into this story from the opening lines, a quote from Winston Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I was riveted when Ally pulled up in front of her glorious home to see the “for sale” sign already there. And my heart plummeted when her boss came to the house to personally give her the bad news.
Ms. Stratton makes every scene come alive with characters I wanted to get to know – and felt I did - with places I now want to visit, descriptions so real I felt like I was there. And love so true I felt it leap off the pages.
Lake Surrender is a story you don’t want to pass by, and a story you won’t soon forget. Lake Surrender is a story of hope and courage – and never giving up.
#lakesurrender, #carolstratton, #autism, #perfectstorm, #reallife, #campcook, #faithandhope
This is a debut novel for this author, and had I not known that fact I would have been amazed! This author's creative writing skills are remarkable. She has obviously done a lot of research regarding the topics that are broached in this touching story of this uprooted family. Her descriptions of an autistic young child are authentic and stirring. The challenges that are met in this heart wrenching story are poignant and realistic.
I could hardly wait for my reading time each day as I looked forward to what might happen next in this unpredictable novel. I look forward to more writing from Carol Grace Stratton, as I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Family is pivotal to this story, and the relationships within this family are emotional yet heartwarming.
I highly recommend this new author's touching novel. An emotional journey through the lives of a family stricken by hardship after hardship will open your mind and heart to the realities of life through the eyes of this talented author.
I truly enjoyed reading this book. The characters are very well developed, as is the storyline. It isn't preachy like some Christian books I have read. Instead, it gradually introduces the concept of belief in God and Jesus. I also liked the book because of the information and compassionate understanding of autism. It showed the effect autism has on a family, in that one of the reasons for Ally's divorce was because her husband Bryan couldn't deal with having a special needs child. It also showed many of the typical responses people have towards autism, including kids making fun of Benji but also avoiding him because they are afraid they might catch it by association. One of the other responses was that Ally's mother thinks Benji should be institutionalized because she believes Ally can't handle the stress and responsibility.
One thing I didn't like about the book was that while it talked about beginning or building a relationship with God, it never really told how to begin that relationship, by believe, receive, and confess Jesus. It also didn't talk about being under conviction, which is where you can feel that God is calling you to repentance.
I would definitely recommend this book for women who enjoy Christian women's fiction. I would love to read more by this author.